A flower assortment from a downtown Loveland, Colo., flower shop decorates the counter of a local coffee shop, demonstrating that a touch of color makes customers want to stay longer. The same thing happens with readers and good writing.
By Shelley Widhalm
Blogging is a great way to tell your story, but how to get that message across takes some knowledge about your readers—and customers.
What is it that they want to see in your blog? It’s like a storefront but instead of opening the door, it takes a click.
They want to discover the latest news about your business. They want to know about your products and services and how what you offer is the same and different from what’s on the market. They also want to get behind-the-scenes into your office, workroom or production facility and learn about your staff, social and green initiatives, workplace culture and ways of doing things.
Blogs are pervasive, but they also can have a ROI by helping big businesses look small, personal and inviting. The businesses show they want more than customer counts but connections.
Blogs demonstrate expertise but in quick, direct messages. Posts don’t need to be long with 500 to 700 words optimal. A blog that is 300 to 400 words is considered short, while a blog 1,000 or more words is long and article length.
Businesses ideally would steer clear of content mill, Search Engine Optimization-focused blogs that fill space and generate quantity. Blogs crafted with a focus on the audience and customer and what they care about will get more attention. They are not about clicks and quits—the audience sees the content is valueless and moves on. The audience stays for the quality, just like they do when they find a business they like with great products and services.
Click and Stay
To get a click and stay, here are some things to consider.
- Identify your target audience, or who you want to write to, avoiding writing to everybody, therefore to nobody.
- Figure out what your audience wants to learn about your business and then create the content, instead of writing whatever comes to mind.
- Demonstrate your expertise on a subject related to what you do or about your products or services.
- Regularly talk about your key subjects, but add some variety to keep up the interest.
- Be specific, give examples and avoid going off topic into tangents.
- Tell a story with details and descriptions, so that the audience can picture what you have to say.
Schedule It In
Make your blog routine, so the audience knows what to expect and can mark it on their calendars. Make sure to post according to a schedule, such as once a week or even monthly, and on the same day. Sporadic blogging, especially every few months, shows a lack of commitment to the blog—plus, it’s unpredictable for the audience.
On a personal note, I aim for once a week, but when I get busy, I find that I want to hire a blogger to fill in the gaps. That’s what I offer—I blog for you, so you don’t have to worry about the clicks and leaves. You get the staying power and more time, energy and focus for what you love—your business!